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Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
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Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

State education nominee Edelblut: 'I have no intention of dismantling public education'

CONCORD — Wilton entrepreneur Frank Edelblut, Gov. Chris Sununu’s nominee to lead the state Department of Education, tried to allay the fears of opponents in his confirmation hearing on Tuesday before the Executive Council.

“I have no intention of dismantling public education, but I have every intention of helping the system move forward and offer a product that parents and educators want for our young people,” he said

Edelblut, who came within 800 votes of defeating Sununu in the GOP gubernatorial primary in September, was nominated by the governor to replace Virginia Barry as education commissioner. He could be confirmed as soon as today.

He spent much of the four-hour hearing answering questions on his credentials and personal philosophy of education.

See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/state-government/State-education-nominee-Edelblut-I-have-no-intention-of-dismantling-public-education-01312017

[font color=330099]Yes, because dismantling takes too much time and might leave some valuable remnants behind. It is much easier to eliminate public education instead.[/font]

Manchester police chief Willard disses NH AG for criticizing Trump

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard is taking issue with New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster for his statement condemning President Donald Trump's executive order that restricts travel to the U.S. for certain immigrants and refugees.

Willard, in a Tweet linking to a Union Leader story on Foster's criticism, writes that the attorney general should be apolitical.

The critical take is noteworthy on another level, because Willard has been mentioned as a possible go-to for a federal law enforcement job with the Trump administration, as the Union Leader first reported in November.

Foster, a former Democratic state senator from Nashua, is not expected to be renominated as attorney general by Gov. Chris Sununu, R-Newfields. Foster said Trump's executive order jeopardized the rights and principles that are "fundamental to our democracy."

See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/Police_chief_knocks_AG_for_criticizing_Trump_

Ayotte to lead White House team shepherding Supreme Court nominee

The White House has assembled a team of political veterans with deep experience navigating the Senate to help shepherd President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court.

Leading the effort will be former senator Kelly Ayotte, a relatively moderate Republican from New Hampshire, according to a senior White House official who detailed the assignments on the condition of anonymity.

Ayotte will serve as the nominee’s so-called sherpa, personally introducing the pick to senators and escorting him or her to meetings and the confirmation hearing. Ayotte, who narrowly lost reelection last fall, is an unlikely selection by Trump considering she spoke out against his candidacy and was seen as having been on a blacklist for appointments to the new administration.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to assist the administration with the confirmation process for the next conservative Supreme Court nominee,” Ayotte said.

See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/Washington-Post-Ayotte-to-lead-White-House-team-shepherding-Supreme-Court-nominee-01312017

Donald Dodge of FRM Ponzi scheme failure freed

LACONIA — Donald Dodge, who together with Scott Farah, was sentenced to federal prison for his part in bilking more than 200 investors of more than $20 million in what ranks as the biggest Ponzi scheme in the state, was released on Jan. 12 after serving his six-year sentence. Farah was sentenced to 15 years and remains behind bars.

Farah and Dodge operated Financial Resources Mortgage, Inc. and CL&M, Inc., a private mortgage brokerage, in Meredith, which abruptly collapsed in November 2009, leaving investors empty-handed and funds unaccounted for. Although Dodge was years older than Farah, the two had a long friendship and Dodge was among the partners when Farah formed Financial Resources Mortgage, Inc. in 1989. Farah bought out his partners in the mid 1990s, but by 2005 the business had grown beyond his capacity to manage it and he turned to Dodge and together they created CL&M to service the loan portfolio.

While Financial Resources Mortgage, Inc. courted borrowers and investors, CL&M served as the bank, where all the funds were deposited and disbursed. Many of the loans were short-term construction loans, due in two years or less. Although investors paid CL&M in full before the loans closed, the loans were net funded at closing, when only closing costs and small disbursements were paid, leaving CL&M with the balance, which included an origination fee.

In June 2005, shortly after CL&M was formed, it loaned Farah $10 million; and between then and Nov. 2, 2009, when when the firms collapsed, he withdrew more than $20 million in 260 separate transactions. Meanwhile, CL&M took deposits from investors up front then applied the bulk of those co-mingled funds to the loan disbursement requests it received from borrowers and the monthly interest payments due the investors, even on loans that were past due, not performing or had never even closed. When original loans were retired or failed to close, CL&M rolled over investors' funds to other investments, which enabled them to avoid having to refund or repay large sums.

Read more: http://www.laconiadailysun.com/local-news/101518-donald-dodge-freed

Maine Governor: No More Welfare for Those With Drug Felonies

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's Republican governor wants to abandon drug testing for some welfare recipients.

Instead, Gov. Paul LePage simply wants to make people convicted of a felony drug offense after 1996 ineligible to receive cash assistance and food stamps.

The idea is within the governor's 230-page budget proposal, and comes as Maine legalizes recreational marijuana. The governor's proposal is getting pushback from advocates for low-income individuals, who say it's erroneous to assume everyone with a felony conviction is a serious drug offender.

More states are opting out of federal law prohibiting welfare for such individuals. The Congressional Research Service found three states have a lifetime ban on both cash benefits and food stamps.

Read more: http://mainepublic.org/post/maine-governor-no-more-welfare-those-drug-felonies

Maine lawmakers want to place a deposit on Fireball nips, other miniature liquor bottles

A little bottle is getting some big attention from the Maine Legislature.

“Nips” liquor bottles have moved from hotel minibars and airline service carts into convenience stores across Maine, and the discarded empties are piling up along the roadways. Lawmakers have proposed placing a deposit on the little containers.

Alberta Surdick, the Bangor Redemption and Discount Beverage Center’s general manager, is always anxious to increase business, but she’s not crazy about the prospect of her crews hand-sorting empty 50-milliliter booze bottles.

In fact, she said she questions the sanity of anyone who would even consider such an idea.

Read more: http://bangordailynews.com/2017/01/31/politics/maine-lawmakers-want-to-place-a-deposit-on-fireball-nips-other-miniature-liquor-bottles/

Gov. Paul LePage calls KKK fliers 'disgusting'

AUGUSTA — Ku Klux Klan fliers purporting to be about a neighborhood watch drew concern for the safety of refugees and a swift rebuke from the governor in Maine.

The fliers were found on Monday in Augusta, Gardiner and Freeport. The fliers found in Augusta said they were from "Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan" and stated that "you can sleep tonight knowing the Klan is awake."

Republican Gov. Paul LePage called the fliers "appalling" during an appearance on WVOM-FM on Tuesday. He also said he didn't know if the fliers were legitimate or a prank, but either way they were "disgusting."

Some of the fliers were left in Augusta's Sand Hill neighborhood, the Kennebec Journal reported.

Read more: http://www.sunjournal.com/news/0001/11/30/gov-paul-lepage-calls-kkk-fliers-disgusting/2069586

Susan Collins still unsure about Betsy DeVos as nation's education chief

It still isn’t clear whether U.S. Sen. Susan Collins is willing to vote for President Donald Trump’s nominee to run the U.S. Department of Education.

Collins agreed Tuesday to support sending Betsy DeVos’ name to the full Senate for consideration but specifically mentioned that she had yet to make up her mind which way to vote on the floor.

Another Republican senator on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Lisa Murkowski, also expressed concern about DeVos, opening the door to the possibility the Senate will reject Trump’s choice.

Maine’s other senator, independent Angus King, has already said he will vote against DeVos.

Read more: http://www.sunjournal.com/news/maine/2017/02/01/susan-collins-still-unsure-about-betsy-devos-nations-education-chief/2069618

Trump and LePage administrations want to limit assistance to immigrants

WASHINGTON — While the issue of providing assistance to asylum-seekers is being debated in Maine, the Trump administration could be considering measures to limit how much immigrants can rely on assistance programs.

According to documents obtained by The Associated Press, President Donald Trump is considering an executive order that would target some immigrants for deportation if they become dependent on government assistance.

The Associated Press has obtained a copy of the draft order that calls for the identification and removal "as expeditiously as possible" of any legal immigrant who relies on certain kinds of public welfare benefits.

The order, if signed, would also focus the government's efforts on blocking immigrants who are likely to become reliant on government benefits.

Read more: http://www.sunjournal.com/news/maine/2017/01/31/trump-and-lepage-administrations-want-limit-assistance-immigrants/2069403

Gov. Paul LePage says Maine needs a new form of government

AUGUSTA — Maine needs “to start taking a hard look at other forms of government,” Gov. Paul LePage said Tuesday.

“There’s so much gridlock in government that our government no longer works,” the governor told Bangor-based WVOM radio during his regular weekly broadcast.

“I’m one of the ones who believes that the two-party system is broken,’ LePage said, “and I do believe that we’re probably going to be heading for a constitutional convention to fix our government.

“I really think that we need to start taking a hard look at other forms of government,” he added.

Read more: http://www.sunjournal.com/news/maine/2017/01/31/gov-paul-lepage-says-maine-needs-new-form-government/2069375
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